When dusted off, books should be
held tightly closed to avoid damaging page edges or working dirt into the
interior of the volume. Dust only with a clean feather duster; do
not use one that has been treated with any dust-attractive chemicals.
These chemicals have the potential to do damage to the surfaces of the
covers or to the pages, etc.
Heavy fingerprint marks on semi-gloss
or glossy covers can be removed by wiping the surface of the cover with
a clean, slightly damp cloth. Any moisture on the cover must be allowed
to dry completely before the book is reshelved or placed back into storage.
Never wipe the textblock edges or individual pages.
Marks and Stains
If there are grease-like marks in
the book try absorbing them by interleaving the book with paper towels
and closing the book flat for a day or so. If that is unsuccessful,
the grease is probably too ingrained to be removed safely and it's best
to leave it alone.
Erase pencil marks using a white
plastic eraser (such as Magic Rub, Staedtler Mars, etc.). Stroke
with the eraser in a forward motion towards the page edge. Brush
away eraser dust and dirt very lightly with a soft brush. Always
brush away from the gutter of the book to the edge. Make sure there
is no residue remaining before closing the book.
Ink and highlighter marks cannot
be removed. Any attempt will simply do more damage to the page than
the marks themselves.
Mold growth occurs on books that
are stored in damp, dark locations. While minor mold growth is not
likely to do major damage to a book, it is unsightly, emits a foul odor
and can spread if not removed. To remove mold, first check if it
is active (dark and oily) or dormant (dry and flaky) mold. If there
is dormant mold, place the book in a cool, dry environment with plenty
of air circulation. If the book is stored for an extended period
under such conditions, the mold will become very dry and can be gently
scraped or wiped off, again always from the gutter to the edge of a page
or from the spine toward the edge of the textblock. The same technique
can be applied to books affected with active mold, but it will take much
longer (as much as a month) and the new environment must be very dry.
DO NOT attempt to clean active mold too soon! Premature cleaning
attempts will grind the mold into the covers or paper and cause stains
that are almost impossible to remove.
Mildew or musty odor is a byproduct
of mold and can remain in a book even after the mold has been removed.
Fortunately, the odor can usually be eliminated with the following procedure:
1. Pour a few inches of baking soda
into a large plastic container with a tight fitting lid.
2. In a smaller container place
the book; this container does not need a lid.
3. Place the smaller container into
the larger container and put the lid on the larger container.
4. Place the larger container in
a cool, dry and well ventilated area.
5. In approximately 1 to 7 days,
the odor should completely disappear. If not, the book may be left
in for a longer time, but no longer than a total of about three weeks.
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This page last updated on 02-Sep-03